My best friend and I used to play pretend figure skating…on concrete. #thingskidsthesedayswillneverdo The truth is, I’ve actually never stepped onto an ice skating rink, but that’s never stopped me from loving the sport.
When the Tonya Harding/ Nancy Kerrigan knee-bashing scandal went down, I was horrified. I couldn’t believe girls in such a beautiful sport would actually do this to each other. Back then, I had no idea who to believe; but I also thought Nancy Kerrigan was the second most graceful skater (Kristi Yamaguchi came first in my books), and so I always leaned towards her side. Fast-forward 25 years later, I watched “I, Tonya,” and the same questions came to mind again—Did she know? Did she really do it? Did it REALLY go down like that, and why were they SO stupid?
The film is actually really funny, and Margot Robbie does an amazing job, as does Allison Janey, who plays her mom. It’s nostalgic—from the clothes to the names being thrown about—Oksana Baiul, Kristi Yamaguchi, Connie Chung, Brian Boitano—very 90s figure skating life.
It’s definitely going to tug some strings, and make you see things that you never thought could happen to her. She was a fantastic skater, and the first women to ever nail a triple axle in competition, so it’s eye-opening to see what a hard life she did come from. The entire film raises the emotional, political, self-doubt, jealousy, and competitive side of these sports, and what people (not just athletes) go through all the time. While it brings to the spotlight a scandal that had so many of us baffled when were younger, it also depicts how important it is for women to know that they are not alone. That emotional, domestic, and even self-sabotaging abuse are so common, and why these movements like Time’s Up, Me Too, and the Women’s March are needed.
I absolutely recommend watching this movie, even if you are the tiniest bit curious. The performances are great (I have to say Sebastian Stan has come a long way from Gossip Girl), and you will be emotionally vested!